Blood parasites: Malaria

Samples are screened using thick blood films, thin films are examined on positive samples. If P.falciparum is found, parasitaemia is performed. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDT’s) are available.

Sample requirements: 

• Thick and thin films (unstained but thin-film methanol fixed) made from a fresh blood sample.
• Thick and thin films made and stained from a fresh blood sample.
• Original EDTA sample.

Key factors affecting tests: malaria parasites collected into anticoagulants such as EDTA deteriorate and morphological changes occur within a few hours.

We would be grateful if the malaria reference laboratory form could be completed, along with our report form, and enclosed with the sample. Sample date and patient travel history should be stated.

Malaria reference laboratory form is available here.